Rockers tough to crack

Take it from me, esteemed readers, it's not just you whom I annoy.

Over the years, I've managed to agitate plenty of rock stars as well. At times, it's just a matter of someone getting irritated for whatever reason -- don't ever ask Primus frontman Les Claypool about his band's declining album sales. Seriously, never thought I'd have to tell a dude who once dressed up as a plastic cowboy in one of his videos to lighten up.

And in other cases, it's just crappy circumstances that lead to subpar interviews. Either way, here are some of my roughest subjects:

Rammstein: Trying to do an interview through a translator is like attempting to teach trigonometry to an eggplant: a fairly pointless endeavor, all around.

I learned this firsthand when trying to chat with these German industrial metalheads, who don't speak English. They seemed like a band with a sense of humor -- this was back when they were doing a stage show that involved, among other things, a prominent role for a rubber phallus -- but trying to crack wise with this bunch through a third party was about as fruitful as bird dogging chicks with the pope.

Glenn Danzig: And now for a guy who makes a tire iron seem verbose. You could ask Danzig his take on the meaning of life and the dude would manage to come back with a "yes" or "no" answer. I'm a big fan of just about everything this guy has ever done, but he was so tight-lipped when I last spoke with him, it's as if his every utterance would result in the death of a puppy.

Bizzy Bone: Like a stoned yoga instructor with Tourette's, Bizzy is hands down the most bipolar person I have ever interviewed, calm one minute, like he's speaking from the depths of a bubble bath, inexplicably enraged the next. His is a sad story, a gifted MC who sold millions of records in Cleveland rap troupe Bone Thugs N' Harmony only to lose it all and succumb to mental illness, becoming homeless at one point.

Deep down, he's a pretty warm, loving guy, it's just too bad he's often about as good-humored as a grizzly bear with a pulled groin.

T-Model Ford: Like Jägermeister for breakfast, interviewing this 80-something blues stalwart is a lot of fun, but not all that productive.

Live, T-Model sometimes will forget what song he's playing right in the middle of it, and in conversation, he's the same way, an affable, but absent-minded gent whose thoughts tend to slowly dissipate like mental smoke rings. He's a fascinating man with an amazing back story -- the guy once did a stint in prison for killing a dude -- but good luck getting him to recount much of it.

I remember him handing the phone to one of his many young grandchildren during our conversation and saying, "Talk to the nice white man, junior." I think I got more quotes from the 3-year-old.

Jason Bracelin's "Sounding Off" column appears on Tuesdays. Contact him at 702-383-0476 or e-mail him at jbracelin@